Coleraine Firsts secure bonus point win over Donaghadee

Sponsors of the pre-match rugby lunch for the Coleraine v Donaghadee game on Saturday were newly formed dairy group LacPatrick (formerly Ballyrashane Creamery). Pictured with club president Kevin Bradley are LacPatrick chairman Hugo Maguire, vice-chairman Roy Irwin and deputy CEO Nigel Kemps.

Sponsors of the pre-match rugby lunch for the Coleraine v Donaghadee game on Saturday were newly formed dairy group LacPatrick (formerly Ballyrashane Creamery). Pictured with club president Kevin Bradley are LacPatrick chairman Hugo Maguire, vice-chairman Roy Irwin and deputy CEO Nigel Kemps.

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Coleraine bounced back from defeat at Carrick to craft a comprehensive win against Donaghadee on Saturday, taking another bonus point win.

The Bannsiders took control from the start and ran in seven tries, including a Stevie Callaghan hat-trick, to earn the winning bonus point.

The result moves Coleraine to second in the league standings, behind Carrick but, on points difference, ahead of Larne, both on 25 points.

The team will now be concentrating on a tricky encounter at Lisburn this weekend and then the local derby match on Boxing Day, when they entertain Ballymoney at Rugby Avenue.

Coleraine coach Richard Boyd said after the Donaghadee game: “We were very pleased with the overall result and the performance apart from the third quarter when we lost our focus and discipline.

“The coaches asked the players for a response this week and that is what we got. I thought Dijon McCorkell, DD McAllister, Daniel Ramage and Josh Christie all had very good games and this allowed the team to play on the front foot.

“The backs were very clinical throughout the game and scored some excellent tries. Alan Clarke showed his class and Niall Irwin had his best performance of the season, which was really promising.

“We have a big couple of weeks ahead with the journey to Lisburn this weekend and then Boxing Day against Ballymoney but we are looking forward to these challenges and want to put ourselves in the best position possible going into the New Year.”

In the game Coleraine kept a firm handle on proceedings for the entire match and in the first half hour Bokkie Carstens and Stevie Callaghan scored tries, converted by captain Mikey Poskitt, whilst the visitors sole reply was a penalty.

With 33 minutes on the clock DD McAllister made the decisive break before feeding the ball to Callaghan to score. Five minutes later Nial Irwin made a strong run over half the pitch to score. Poskitt converted both and in the final play of the half it was Poskitt who crossed the line to score an unconverted try. Half time score 33-3.

As the second half started Donaghadee attacked and after 15 minutes Coleraine’s discipline dropped and Danny Ramage was yellow-carded. After a further five minutes the visitors scored from a five-metre scrum. The conversion went wide.

Coleraine regrouped and within five minutes scored again, Callaghan finishing the attack for his third try of the match, but the conversion drifted wide.

The final score came shortly before the whistle, Alan Clarke showing his remarkable pace to slice through the defence, popping the ball to Cartsens for an unconverted try. The final score 43-8

This weekend Coleraine are away to Lisburn, the Seconds home to Carrickfergus 2s and the Thirds entertain Armoy.